It can be difficult to maintain motivation when trying to lose weight, especially if you are a busy mom like me. It’s easy to start off with enthusiasm and be excited about your goals. However, at a certain point, motivation and enthusiasm can wane. Staying motivated is the top reason that people fail in attaining their fitness goals.
How to Find Weight Loss Motivation
Find YOUR Reason
There are many reasons why someone may want to lose weight. For example, you may have had a health scare. You might have an event or a vacation that you want to look great for. You may simply be tired of your clothes feeling too tight, or maybe you realize that you’ll have more energy and vitality if you shed a few pounds.
Keep in mind that your reason for losing weight needs to be one that you feel strongly about. Most of us struggle with finding a strong reason to get in shape. Trying to lose weight because you think you should doesn’t usually work. Identifying your reason for wanting to lose weight will help you create a plan that supports you to succeed.
When I first started my weight loss journey, my children were my motivation. I found that I was often too tired and out of shape to keep up with them. This was not the mother I wanted to be. I knew that I needed to make a change.
Make It Enjoyable
The second component of finding and maintaining motivation to lose weight is to find activities that you enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, and healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. When youíre enjoying the weight-loss process, youíre much more likely to stay excited about it and motivated to continue.
Think about exercise activities that you might enjoy. If you enjoy dancing, for example, then a barre class or a fitness dance class may be perfect. Identify resources for healthy and delicious foods as well. They can help you stay excited about your weight loss.
One fun tactic is to think of a time when you thought fitness was fun. Likely this is when you were a child or perhaps played on a sports team in school. What made it fun? Remember those emotions. Perhaps revisit some of those activities like swimming, playing on a softball team, etc.
Studies show that women who listen to their favorite music workout longer than those who don’t. Make yourself a playlist that makes you feel good while you exercise.
Focus on “to-do” rather than “don’t do”
Many of us focus on the things we shouldn’t do to stay on track. We tell ourselves things like “don’t skip a workout” or “don’t eat ice cream this week.” Instead, set positive goals that encourage you to take action. Say things like, “Choose healthy snacks,” “Be strong,” or “Call a friend for support.” It’s about changing your mindset from the things you can’t do to the things you CAN. It helps you see things like choosing to go to the gym and eat healthy as something positive rather than something negative or punishment.
Create a Support System
The third component of finding and maintaining motivation to lose weight is to create a support system. This means that your environment supports you, the people in your life support you, and the tools that you use support you. These tools can be things like health and fitness applications.
There are applications that connect you to online fitness communities and can help you stay engaged and active in your weight loss. There are also applications that help you track calories consumed and burned. You can connect mobile apps to monitoring devices to track your effort and intensity as well. There are even apps that will send you an exercise for the day, healthy recipes or information on great running, walking, and biking routes in your community.
There are fitness and health applications that help you find people to exercise with, applications that help you schedule your fitness classes and so much more. Creating systems that support you will help you stay motivated. Your support systems may be the most important component of maintaining motivation to lose weight.
Focus on Body Love
Research also suggests that having positive feelings about your body will make you more likely to exercise. We all have something we love about our bodies. Even if it’s something small. For example, I really love my shoulders so I found it easier to work on my arms during workouts. Then I focused on compound exercises that combined my arms and legs together. If it’s something like your eyes or your smile, find a mirror to focus on your face. It takes practice not to focus on body parts you dislike, but when you do, it really helps.
Do you have other ways that you focus on weight loss motivation? Please share in a comment.